The zombie apocalypse looks a lot different in France, and I’m not just talking about the castles and picturesque vistas seen in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon. It doesn’t take long to notice a key difference in how the fight against walkers — as well as other humans — is drastically different in France than it is in the United States. The biggest difference: the weapons.
France has very strict gun laws, with licenses only issued for hunting, sport and collecting. This Reuters article highlights gun regulations in France:
“Ownership of military-grade guns is banned in France. Individuals who want to own a weapon with a removable magazine with a capacity larger than three rounds must undergo annual mental, physical and health checks. Hunting weapons must be registered and owners must undertake a full day of theory exams.”
With so many restrictions on guns in the country, it’s not surprising that the characters in Daryl Dixon must rely on guns and weapons that were taken from museums and collections throughout the country. The nuns at the Union d’Espoir convent have a cache of weapons that date back centuries while you see villains toting guns that look like something you’d see in a movie about the French Revolution.
French weaponry used in Daryl Dixon is drastically different from the weapons used by characters in The Walking Dead and its various spinoffs set in the US. With semi-automatic and fully automatic guns easily accessible in the US, the fight against the undead (as well as warring survivors) is only limited by the availability of bullets, something that has been rectified now that bullets are being manufactured.
This is a powerful statement in the show that’s being delivered in a very subtle way. The US is known for gun violence while France is one of many countries that bans powerful assault weapons from private ownership. In the show, the French are just as capable of defending themselves as their American counterparts despite not having access to the powerful weapons the Americans wield.
Thankfully, Daryl seems as comfortable with flails and spears as he is with muskets and rifles. He’ll continue to be fine so long as he can successfully navigate the cultural and linguistic challenges.
As we continue to watch Daryl’s journey in France, it will be fun to see how many other differences there are between the US and France.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon airs Sundays at 9pm ET/PT on AMC.